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Keith Price says he's up for challenge

5/16/2014

RENTON, Wash. -- Keith Price might have set a record for the amount of time it took to agree to rookie free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks after the NFL draft ended last Saturday night.

“It probably wasn’t three minutes after the draft,” Price said.

Price, a three-year starter for the Washington Huskies, was back in his hometown of Los Angeles when Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made him his first call after the draft.

"I jumped on a flight as soon as I got the call,” Price said. “I don’t even think I folded my clothes. I just threw everything in the suitcases. As soon as I got here, I asked for my playbook. I been spending hours a day going over it and making sure I was ready to go on the field.”

Price (6-foot-1, 205) passed 8,921 yards and 75 touchdowns for the Huskies, but he wasn’t invited to the NFL combine. He had a workout with the Seahawks after the combine.

“I had my mind set here,” Price said. “I was very familiar with the [offensive] system and the coaches. And I love this place. I love Seattle and I love being here. There’s great competition at the quarterback spot, and I’m a competitive guy."

Price was one of the obvious standouts Friday in the first day of rookie minicamp. He was sharp with the throws, consistently finding the open receiver. He threw two long touchdown passes -- one to second-round pick Paul Richardson and one to fourth-round pick Kevin Norwood.

“The concepts are similar, so that allows me to play fast out here,” Price said. "I constantly told myself that all I need is a foot in the door and I will do the rest. If you would have asked me when I was a kid if I would ever be in the NFL I would have laughed at you. Now I’m here and I have a great opportunity ahead of me.”

One thing that helped Price Friday was his familiarity with the Seattle offense. It’s similar to what Washington ran under coach Steve Sarkisian, now the head coach at Southern Cal. But Sarkisian was Carroll’s offensive coordinator at USC before going to Washington.

Price is one of two quarterbacks at rookie camp, along with Zach Zulli of Shippensburg in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania. Zulli’s team never huddled, and he never took a snap under center.

“Keith has a background [in Seattle’s offensive schemes] and you can tell,” Carroll said Friday. “He did a nice job. He looks like he’s been around us. He’s run similar stuff, which gives him a clear advantage over Zulli.”

Price is close friends with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. He was asked if his friendship with Wilson was a factor in wanting to sign with Seattle.

“No doubt about it,” Price said. “Russell is a student of the game and one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. Most of all, he’s a leader, somebody that the team loves to rally around and play for.”

It’s the guys behind Wilson that make this a big challenge for Price. Seattle has four other quarterbacks on the roster besides Price -- Wilson, former starter and experienced backup Tarvaris Jackson, former Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor and B.J. Daniels.

“If figure if I can move up in depth here, I can do it anywhere,” Price said. “I’m studying the playbook relentlessly. I’m doing everything I can to prepare myself to ultimately be a starter in this league. I know it takes a lot of steps, and I’m way down on the totem pole right now, but I’m willing to work myself up. I appreciate the challenge.”